The Difference Between Food & Cuisine
Within Canton’s historic downtown sits C’est la Vie, a restaurant trimmed in style with blues, whites, and gold accents that call to mind the Mediterranean.
Visiting this restaurant feels like you’ve been transported around the globe to the south of France. With its authentic cuisine and romantic atmosphere, C’est la Vie is a perfect spot to make a Valentine or anniversary dinner très magnifique. Each dish is made and served with love from owners Vincent and Laetitia Fernandez.
The restaurant also features a fully stocked bar and lounge area furnished with high-top tables, couches, and a neon sign bearing the restaurant’s name. In addition to being a gourmet-experience restaurant, C’est la Vie is also home to a bakery full of French classics such as baguettes, croissants, macarons, and more.
C’est la Vie is housed in the former home of education advocate Marie Archer Teasley, for whom Teasley Middle School is named. Inside the historic home the dining room features photos of Laetitia and Vincent surrounded by Provençal fields of lavender, daughters Livia and June, and more beloved family members and friends. The smiles in the photos are just as bright as the smiles on guests when they see the delicacies C’est la Vie serves.
Menu Says: Velouté de Champignon et Oeuf Parfait
HAYDEN SAYS: This shimeji mushroom soup brings in a smooth and creamy texture with a mixture of caramelized onions and a savory lightly poached egg. The black garlic crumble on top brings in a hint of crunchiness to balance out the richness of the soup. On the side are pieces of buttery and crunchy toasted sourdough bread, perfect for dipping into the soup for an extra crunch and added flavor. The velouté will warm you up during the cold January weather and take you back to autumn, when the mushrooms grow in France.
Menu Says: Moules Marinières
HAYDEN SAYS: The freshness of the mussels in this traditional French dish transports you to the coast of the Mediterranean. The creamy white wine sauce paired with mussels delivers appetizing flavors and fresh taste. A gluten-free appetizer, it pairs well with a Diora Chardonnay. Even if someone in your party is not a seafood lover, these mussels are guaranteed to leave everyone at the table emptying the dish and wanting more.
Menu Says: Soupe à l’Oignon
HAYDEN SAYS: The French onion soup is presented in an elegant bowl adorned with lion heads, designed by iconic French chef Paul Bocuse to represent his hometown of Lyon in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Atop the classic soup is a layer of Swiss cheese that brings a satisfying pull to that first spoonful. Beneath the cheese is a warming soup with flavorful onions. Served with toasted bread, the French favorite is perfect for onion lovers in winter.
Menu Says: Lapin à la Moutarde
HAYDEN SAYS: While rabbit is lean, the fine-grained meat in this French classic is cooked fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth tender. On top of the leg and loin is a sweet Dijon mustard sauce. Below is a cauliflower and vanilla cream sauce that brings out the cauliflower flavor. Decadent gratin dauphinois accompanies the rabbit with creamy layers of buttery potato slices, a delicate touch of artichokes, and a crunch of garlic on the bottom. C’est la Vie recommends pairing it with a Moillard Le Duché Bourgogne Chardonnay.
Menu Says: Ris de Veux
HAYDEN SAYS: Don’t let the name fool you: this sweetbread is savory and succulent. The dish derived from the resourcefulness of post-war France. Vincent explains, “We didn’t trash anything. We tried to eat everything on every animal.” Vincent’s masterful twist on the rich and tender veal sweetbread results in an ambiguous mixture of sweet and savory. A cauliflower and vanilla cream complements and enhances the savory flavor, as do accents of glazed beetroot and lima beans. The squid ink trim adds an artistic garnish and a crunch to balance out the texture of the sweetbread.
Menu Says: Crème Brûlée
HAYDEN SAYS: The crème brûlée stands alone with confidence. The top brings a crunch and a gentle caramelized taste. The cream underneath is sweet and smooth. The vanilla custard combined with the caramelized topping deliver a flavor that is just sweet enough without going over the top, and you’ll enjoy every spoonful.
Menu Says: Lemon Cloud
HAYDEN SAYS: Lemon Cloud offers lemon zest with a sweet taste. The smooth, rich texture results in a scoop that flows smoother than butter. The peach preserves on the inside add a fruity flavor and balance the zest without being too sweet, a pleasant surprise within the center of a unique dessert. A must-have finish to your first meal at C’est la Vie.
FROM THE BAR
Menu Says: Le Provence
HAYDEN SAYS: You’ll want to stay in the lavender haze of this gin de France combined with the citrusy flavors of lime and floral notes of lavender syrup. This delightful cocktail literally sparkles and is a perfect apéritif for girls’ night out or a Galentine’s dinner.
Menu Says: Le Napoleon
HAYDEN SAYS: Sure to warm you from the inside out, this 90.4 proof full-bodied bourbon with hints of vanilla, dark caramel, hazelnut, apple, and spices, arrives in an oak wood cocktail smoker, which enhances the notes of caramel and spice in the drink.
The team may be small, but its dreams are big. Vincent says that the team’s goal is to bring Cherokee County its first Michelin-star restaurant. The owners love the small-town feel of Canton, and they hope to give Cherokee County more well-deserved attention. Whether you want to treat your friends to an elegant dinner or have an anniversary to remember, C’est la Vie brings the romance and the Mediterranean to you.
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